Rule on Arbitration Would Restore Right to Sue Banks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the federally sanctioned consumer watchdog – has unveiled a proposal that would restore customers’ rights to bring class-action lawsuits against financial firms. Dallas attorney Warren Burns of Burns Charest says the proposal will protect “the most important tool in the consumer’s toolbox.” The new rule is expected to give Americans major new protections and deliver a serious blow to Wall Street by removing requirements to take any dispute to arbitration. “For decades, Americans have been duped by a highly coordinated campaign to malign class actions and the lawyers who routinely protect consumer rights,” says Mr. Burns. “The American economic system has always been built on a compromise designed to permit businesses to conduct their activities without excessive regulation, but at the same time to permit consumers to protect their rights through litigation.” The proposed rule, which would apply to bank accounts, credit cards and other types of consumer loans, seems almost certain to take effect since it does not require congressional approval.

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